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Spokane

Child Porn Suspect May Be Released For Now, Appeal Will Keep Man In Jail On Net Charges

Sat., Feb. 14, 1998

A federal judge overruled prosecutors Friday and said that a New Mexico physician accused of Internet child pornography crimes can be released from jail.

Dr. Barry Kottler can be released before trial to the custody of his father, a prominent Boston-area physicist, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno ruled.

But assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Rice filed an appeal with U.S. District Court, temporarily blocking the doctor’s release from the Spokane County Jail.

The judge set release conditions, including a $100,000 property bond, electronic home monitoring and prohibiting the doctor from using computers or the Internet.

Rice said the government will appealto the higher court that Kottler is a flight risk and a danger to the community.

“His wealthy family has international ties,” Rice said. He later said Kottler’s passport shows he has traveled to Israel.

His father, Herbert Kottler, is assistant director of Lincoln Laboratories, affiliated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIT lab does research in advanced electronics, laser, radar and optical systems, and space surveillance.

Herbert Kottler said he’s willing to put up his $400,000 home in Concord, Mass., as property for his son’s bond and be his custodian. He said he could provide 24-hour-a-day supervision.

His 30-year-old son, a graduate of Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, is accused of computer transmission of 23 pictures of children engaged in sex acts. He also is charged with aggravated sexual abuse.

He was arrested Feb. 6 after traveling from Albuquerque, N.M., to Spokane with the alleged intention of having sexual intercourse with an 8-year-old girl.

After his arrest, U.S. Customs agents found 84 child-porn pictures on a computer in Kottler’s home in Crownpoint, N.M..

They also found other suspected porn files on his computer at the Crownpoint Healthcare hospital where he is a family practice physician.

The computer pictures were sent to Marcus Lawson, a U.S. Customs agent who posed on the Internet as “sasgrrl,” a 32-year-old mother with an 8-year-old daughter.

The federal agent testified that the pictures were transmitted to him in e-mail files after initial discussions that began on an Internet relay channel - or temporary chat room - called “daddaughtsex.”

The pictures were to be shown to the 8-year-old girl to groom her into thinking that having sex with an adult male was a “fun time,” Lawson said.

The agent read portions of computer dialogue between him and Kottler. “You’re my real fantasy in real life,” the agent said he was told by “kiddoc1.”

The two talked about a weekend vacation together after Kottler made a phone call to a woman who turned out to be another customs agent.

Kottler told his wife, who’s also a physician, that he was traveling to Spokane for a weekend get-together with college buddies, Lawson testified.

Kottler got off the airplane and was greeted by an undercover female officer posing as “sasgrrl,” Lawson said. The two went to a downtown hotel where Kottler was arrested.

“He thought he was the luckiest person in the world because he was coming to Spokane to have sex with an 8-year-old girl,” Rice told the magistrate judge.

One of two defense attorneys representing Kottler suggested he may merely have been investigating people he suspected of sexually exploiting children.

Attorney Carl Oreskovich also suggested Kottler may have been lured into the activity by federal agents who engaged in the same kind of conduct.

“He didn’t do anything more than the police did in this case,” Oreskovich argued.

Rice said that suggestion was specious.

If Kottler was investigating child sex crimes, then why are his attorneys proposing psychiatric counseling for him? Rice asked.

Oreskovich questioned the customs agent at length about the fictitious story line the agent used in the Internet sting operation.

“What you were doing as part of this investigation is saying things that weren’t true. Isn’t that correct?” Oreskovich asked Lawson.

Lawson agreed that his phony story line about being a mother with an 8-year-old daughter was a ruse.

The agent said pedophiles using the Internet are extremely secretive, and such sting operations are the best way to make arrests.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: CHARGES Dr. Barry Kottler is accused of computer transmission of pictures of children engaged in sex acts, as well as aggravated sexual abuse.

This sidebar appeared with the story: CHARGES Dr. Barry Kottler is accused of computer transmission of pictures of children engaged in sex acts, as well as aggravated sexual abuse.


 
Tags: ethics

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